The VFW 614 was produced in small numbers during the early- to mid-1970s by VFW-Fokker, a company resulting from a merger between VFW and the Dutch aircraft company Fokker. However, the program was officially cancelled in 1977, the anticipated sales and thus production having not been achieved.
The VFW-Fokker 614 (also VFW 614) was a twin-engined jetliner designed and constructed by West German aviation company VFW-Fokker. It is the first jet-powered passenger liner to be developed and produced in West Germany (the East German Baade 152 being the first German jet airliner), as well as the first German-built civil aircraft to have been manufactured for a decade.
The VFW 614 was originally proposed during the early 1960s as the E.614, which was a concept for a 36–40 seat aircraft by a consortium of West German aircraft companies, who were soon re-organised into Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW). It was originally intended as a Douglas DC-3 replacement; its most distinctive feature was that its engines were mounted in pods on pylons above the wing.
he VFW 614 was originally proposed in 1961 by the Entwicklungsring Nord (ERNO) group, comprising Focke-Wulf, Hamburger Flugzeugbau (HFB) and Weser as the E.614, a 36–40 seat aircraft powered by a pair of American-built Lycoming PLF1B-2 turbofan engines. During this time, the West German industry underwent a substantial reorganisation, resulting in the establishment of Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW), based at Bremen, Germany. Development of what would become the VFW 614 proceeded under the new combined company.
Lycoming ultimately chose to abandon development of the PLF1, which led to development of the type continuing using an alternative powerplant, the Rolls-Royce/SNECMA M45H turbofan engine, in its place.
Role Regional airliner
Manufacturer Fokker VFW
First flight 14 July 1971
Introduction August 1975
Retired 7 December 2012
Status Out of production, out of service
Primary users German Air Force
Touraine Air Transport / Air Alsace
Number built 19
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VFW-Fokker 614 "Airliners"
During 1977, the programme was officially cancelled as a result of the lack of sales, and the last unsold aircraft flew in July 1978. Mendenhall reports that there had been a widespread sentiment amongst German employees that they had been regarded as being subordinate to Fokker, which had increased over time as the VFW 614’s commercial failure had become more and more apparent. By 1981, the majority of commercial aircraft had already been disposed of, partially due to the manufacturer having bought back many of the aircraft that year in order that it could simultaneously terminate support for the type.
Capacity: 40–44 passengers in 4 abreast seating
Length: 20.6 m (67 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 21.5 m (70 ft 6 in)
Height: 7.82 m (25 ft 8 in)
Empty weight: 12,179 kg (26,850 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 19,958 kg (44,000 lb)
Maximum speed: 704 km/h (437 mph, 380 kn)
Range: 1,195 km (743 mi, 645 nmi) with 40 passengers
Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 15.75 m/s (3,100 ft/min)
West German airline Lufthansa declined to procure any VFW 614s; at the time the company had prioritised its development of long haul routes, for which regional airliners were not applicable, while the German government had declined to pressure the airline to buy the type. According to authors H. Dienel and P. Lyth, Lufthansa's lack of interest in the type was attributed as having been a major factor in the commercial failure of the VFW 614.
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